21 years ago this week, I scrapped the opportunity of attending the Dublin Institute of Technology, to study Transport Engineering & Industrial Management.
The lure of a Junior Car Sales position in a Nissan dealership & a company car was too much to turn down @ 18 years of age.
My first day on the job was amazing. It was at the Curragh Racecourse where Nissan Ireland was launching the New Nissan Almera Hatchback. We were there to test drive all its competitors, & from that day on I was hooked. Something, after a month in the trade you would take for granted but I drove at least 10 cars that day, and for an 18-year-old, that seemed like a dream come true. I just thought it was the best day ever, and of course, the Almera was clearly the best car on the road
It was inevitable that the first car I sold was a Nissan Almera Hatch in its colour Aqua Marine, but it was also time for my first mistake, Stephen Beirne from Carrick on Shannon "Co. Roscommon" wasn’t best pleased with his 00 LM registration, it was my first lesson in “Never assume anything in this business”. Thankfully the excitement of collecting his first new car took over, he bit his lip and knew it was a genuine mistake on my first deal. I remember the mistake every time I cross the bridge in Carrick now .
A Story I love telling everyone who'll listen about Nissan is the fact I sold my wife her first car, a Nissan Micra 99RN2607, Stacey & I grew up not 150 metres from each other, but our paths never really crossed until the day she walked into the Showroom with her pink hat & Pink Tracksuit. It was love at first sight, and when she started to talk with that Distinctive strong Cranmore Sligo Accent I knew I was in Love! (only Sligo people will get this )
A few days later she was collecting her car and I was counting the cash deposit. I was doing my best to make small talk,
I asked “are ya heading out at the weekend?” with the reply being “Sure where would I be going and me giving you €1000 today”. I stopped at €900 and gave back the last €100 and said “I’ll see ya in Toffs Saturday night”, she blushed a little and said in her best Sligo Accent “Ah thanks a million”.
Getting the Nissan franchise is obviously an excellent business decision for myself, Mark and the team, but as you can read above it also has some emotional attachments for me too. I genuinely still can’t believe my luck, it all happened so quickly from once I sent the initial email.
We are right slap bang in the middle of organising planning permission, buildings & funding for our showroom here in Carraroe so all the business plans were ready and it was just a matter of presenting it the right way. We had other franchises in mind that didn’t work out,
But I’m a strong believer in the old saying, “What’s for ya, won’t pass ya”.
From our first email to Signing with Nissan, took less than three weeks. The timing for both parties was just spot on, and maybe that’s why it hasn’t sunk in yet?
Going forward for Kevin Egan Cars, it’s all systems go for building our purpose-built showroom to house both our fantastic brands. To date we have already invested just over 1.5million in our site at Carraroe, and a further 2.2million project should start later this year all going well.
I turn 40 next year and it's a goal to have the showroom built in 2022! It's ambitious, but we are working very hard to achieve it in these strange times.
We are also very confident Peugeot & Nissan will work very well together and complement each other, both on the Passenger Cars and Commercial Vans front, with both manufacturers looking to the future in slightly different ways when it comes to Electric cars, Plug-in hybrid, Self-charge Hybrid, Petrol & Diesel options. We will be able to cater for everyone, and for every choice.
My personal target for the next 5 years is hitting a Sligo Market share of 20%, meaning we will be supplying 1 in 5 cars purchased in Sligo. It’s ambitious considering the opposition we have, but I’m confident we can build on last year's 10% with Peugeot, and we will be starting from a strong position with Nissan already at 3.9% market share for Sligo in 2020.
We’re looking forward to the Future and we’re excited to welcome the Nissan customer base, both old & new to our dealership here in Carrraoe. I’m sure you’ll be happy with our level of service and we will be delighted to serve you all for many years to come.
21 years and it’s a full circle, I’m very proud of myself and the Kevin Egan Cars team.
Well done to you all, and thank you for the many years of support.